Despite a brief halt to the game, a case of coronavirus at a local sports club ended with a winning score for players and patrons.
A squash player at the Roster Sports Club Bar and Grill in Vernon tested positive for COVID-19 sometime on or before Oct. 19.
In response, the club postponed the league for two weeks while a total of six players self-isolated. The bar remained open during that time.
There would have been only one other person the affected played a game against, but these two were joined by four others at a table inside the bar.
None of the others at the table contracted the virus, according to Roster co-owners Anya and Hussein Hollands.
“There was no transmission at the club,” Anya said.
The Hollands, who are both also medical professionals in the community, are pleased with the outcome.
“We can’t control the pandemic,” Anya said. “But we met it and it came to the club and the procedures worked.
The Roster has a detailed safety plan in place and emphasizes the importance of wearing masks. But the owners are also aware of the importance physical activity plays on one’s health.
“Yes, COVID-19 is here in the Interior Health,” said Anya. “But there’s a balance.”
Which is why the club is back up and running in full force.
But players are urged to keep themselves protected.
“At this stage with the level of COVID that we’re seeing, it makes sense to wear a mask,” said Anya, who plays in the women’s squash league and has no problem playing with a mask on.
The Hollands took over ownership of the Roster approximately one year ago, while Hussein has been a member with the club for close to a decade.
The pandemic has definitely been a challenge, forcing the club and bar to close for nearly four months in the spring. But an additional lounge space and protocols have allowed it to remain open since July.
“It has been really hard for businesses,” Hussein said.
The Roster has adapted and “we’re holding our own,” Hussein said. He credits the community for making the difference.
“People are really trying to support local business, true local business.”
Now the Roster would like to give back to its community and has plans to fundraise in support of the Upper Room Mission and Starfish Backpack program, and wants to match donations.
“These are charities we’ve supported before and we just personally feel are quite important in our community,” Anya said.